31st Avon Women’s Run Berlin

IMAG1760-1On Saturday 10th May the 31st Avon Womens Running event took place, closing the main avenue that leads up to the Brandenburg Gate, and filling it with a sea of pink. The event lasted pretty much the whole day, starting off with a 5km walk, Nordic walk and run. The 10km event came later, kicking off at 6pm.

IMAG1729It is a massive event. With an entry limit of 18,000, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see so many there. Race kit collection was an efficient operation at Karstadt Sport in Joachimstaler Str. Each entrant received a pink Addidas t-shirt, race number and timing chip.

IMAG1755The pre-race warm up by Hard Candy Fitness had the crowds swinging their hips in a Salsa style, followed by a more traditional runners-specific routine with some great motivational beats.

The course certainly wasn’t record breaking. Weaving through Berlin’s main city park, Tiergarten, it was soon evident the pathways were not wide enough for the amount of runners. Those trying to get through the masses had to weave around the slower runners, avoiding trees, bins and signposts. Upcoming water stations had to be negotiated tactically. I personally don’t need fluid on a 10k, so once I’d worked out where the 2 stations were, I decided to go wide of the tables and managed to avoid a fatal trip over a cup or fellow runner!

The course sent us back down Strasse des 17 Juni, where the big crowds cheered us on. It’s so great to hear the roar of the supporters, whatever distance you run. Our race numbers had our first names printed on the front, so if you were really lucky, someone would call your name too. This doubles the motivation as far as I am concerned!

Heading past the Brandenburg Gate for the last time, the finish line came into sight. A medal for each runner, then tables of water, followed by herbal tea, and then, of course, the Erdinger (alcohol free) Beer stands. This is a sight that never fails to impress me. This is Germany after all.

IMAG1763I finished in 52:14. Not my fastest time, but I’m pretty happy to have survived without a fatal stumble.
Lucy

 

Buggy-Fit

Buggy image onlyOur Buggy-Fit exercise classes are specifically for new Mums who want to exercise safely, effectively and confidently after birth, with their baby.

Aimed at every fitness level, the classes offer ladies a chance to workout outside, with their child by their side. 

It is important to keep fit after birth, to help your body cope with the physical demands of being a new mum. These postnatal classes include everything you need to improve your fitness levels and get your body back in shape. 

The classes are run by Lucy, a qualified Pre and Post Natal Fitness Instructor, and a mother of 2 boys.

Our Classes:

Each class lasts 1 hour and will include

  • Warm up (to prepare your body for the workout)
  • Light, fat-burning cardio moves with your buggy
  • Strengthening exercises to improve posture and work muscles
  • Pelvic floor training
  • Mat based abdominal and back exercises
  • Stretching to cool down.

Why join us?

  • Exercise helps you regain your pre-pregnancy fitness level (and help lose the baby weight),
  • Re-align your abdominal muscles safely (using recommended exercise techniques, so your workout stays safe and effective)
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor (reduce the risk of symptoms of stress-incontinence)
  • Strengthen, stretch and relieve tension (targeting pregnancy-related muscles and those areas that are over-worked as a new mum)
  • Meet other Mums and share experiences, problems and ideas.
  • Because getting outside and working out really does give you a sense of well-being.
  • Because we all have children and understand the journey you are on.

When is it safe to start exercising after birth?

If you had a natural delivery, then you can start exercising carefully from around 6 weeks after the birth.

If you had a C-section delivery, then it is advisable to wait at least 12 weeks.

We always advise checking with your Doctor and/or midwife/health visitor first.

What should I bring?

Make sure your baby is wrapped up appropriately for the weather. Carry a rain-cover, just in case a shower starts during class. If it does rain, we aim to shelter under trees where possible.

For floor exercises, you will need a mat. Nothing fancy, a blanket will do. Just a covering that is big enough to lie down on.

Your clothes should be comfortable, stretchy, and layered, in case you get hot. A sensible pair of trainers is advisable (no hidden heel inserts please!).

What if my baby is hungry?

We understand babies can’t be expected to wait for a feed, and you can feed your child during the class, that’s not a problem.

How much is a class?

Your first class is FREE!

Pay on the day price is now only €5 per class!!

Payment can be made in cash on the day.

Where are the classes?

Our first class takes place in Tiergarten on Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 10am. If you wish to join us, please use our contact form to secure a place and we will send you details of the meeting point.

I have a health condition – what should I do?

We ask all our clients to complete a short Health Screening Questionnaire and registration form before they start exercising with us.

Any particular health conditions should be highlighted in this questionnaire and discussed with your fitness instructor.

If you have been advised by your GP to take up physical activity, then a medical note is also useful for your trainer.

 

CycleLove

cyclelove_jamesgreig_ivyleagueWe are always trying to find ways to help you make fitness part of your everyday life, and not just a part of your work-out routine, so this week, our hot tip is to spend a little bit of your spare time browsing CycleLove‘s website.

CycleLove is more about people on bikes, not “cyclists”, and their mission is to bring you the very best in cycle culture with art, design, style and heritage.

Founder, James Greig told us “There are lots of cycling blogs about the professional sport which celebrate the suffering and the pain and the glory, and lots which are campaigning for improved cycling safety infrastructure, but I felt there was nothing in the middle, for normal people riding bikes”.

James started out as a Graphic designer, but soon fell out of love with his job. When he started taking photo’s of cyclists around London, he needed somewhere to put them, so he began blogging. It has all developed from there. Now you can find weekly blogs, an online shop, and even a A-Z of London cycle friendly shops, cafes or other cycling related venues

His first T-shirt order was delivered by bike – over 100 miles from London to Peterborough, in person. No specialist kit, no back-up crew, no water stations, just James and his bike, on a mission.

“…. the humble bike can enable you to do big things. You don’t need special equipment. You don’t (most of the time) need lycra, or high visibility clothing, or carbon fibre bottle cages. You just need to get out there on your bike and enjoy the ride.”

So, if you have a bike, and it’s a little lonely, why not take it out for a spin this weekend. Who knows where, who cares. Enjoy it, cycling is fun, and yes, of course, it keeps you fit too!

CycleLove is celebrating its 2nd Birthday tomorrow evening at Look Mum No Hands (EAST). Follow the link for more information.

Happy Birthday CycleLove!

Blonde

Lexie BlondeKit really doesn’t have to be boring, and the lovely brand Lexie has managed to prove this yet again.

This new print was inspired by the colour of ‘blonde’ hair, it’s reflective and moving qualities, whilst the collection also incorporates Lexie’s geometric patterns inspired by the Art Deco period.

All the garments are made with technical fabrics. Stretch mesh panels allow the body to breath and give freedom of movement. Seams are angled, carefully placed to reduce abrasions. Hoods fit snugly, thanks to a 3 point design detail. Longer lengths mean your garment covers well, fits comfortably and allows freedom of movement. Reflective tape also features heavily in the designs giving them a practical day to night edge.

Founder Lily Rice is a (UK) home-grown designer, who has recently been named one of Draper magazine’s 30 under 30 for 2014. She is now flying the flag for UK manufacturing too, by ensuring all the products are made on her home soil.

“We decided to make the move to British manufacturing as we wanted to really feel the quality in the styles. The product is designed, sampled, photographed and made in Britain so it really is British Sportswear.”

Blonde will be available for Pre order from the end of January at www.lexiesport.co.uk.

Drops of ‘Blonde’ will be made throughout the year and the collection will retail both online and instore, with Lexie already retailing at The Kings Road Sporting ClubLuxfix.com and Youngbritishdesigners.com.

blonde2

Top Trends

The fitness market is huge, and an overwhelming choice is now available to us. It’s sometimes too difficult to choose. With specialised studios, boot-camps, high intensity workouts, health and wellness apps, there’s something out there to suit everyone.

Here are our favourites, including some new projects to entice you:

ntc1. Tech:   Maintaining your fitness routine at home or when you are travelling doesn’t have to be tough. Whether you decide to download the Nike Training Club app or purchasing a deck of cards from FitDeck, staying fit when you’re away keeps getting easier!

Nike’s app allows you to select your level, decide if you want to lose weight, build muscle, or perhaps just get into a routine. You can add in running targets, yoga, and even stretching sessions. Connect it to your favourite playlists or even iTunes, and you are ready to go. It follows a progressive, targeted program, and is always on the move with you. So wherever you are, it’s really easy to make sure you keep up the routine.

crossfit2. Crossfit:  The Crossfit boxes are growing… like crazy! According to FitMapped, the New York metro area has 18 CrossFit boxes. High-intensity interval training is an ongoing trend for 2014 as predicted by the American College of Sports Medicine and these studios offer just that. The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness. Also to note, CrossFit-type programs provide training for obstacle challenges such as Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. If you are in need of group motivation, then this is the place for you.

Contact us3. Online Workouts: Several concepts have emerged in the past year providing users the ability to workout anywhere, anytime in a virtual manner. Companies such as Gymagogo and Daily Burn offer a variety of online fitness programming allowing fitness at home to become more popular. Brands that have brick and mortar studios are also offering online workout content, e.g., Physique 57.

Urban Fox Fitness offers clients short video workouts straight to your in-box, giving you the freedom to work out at home, with a trainer you know and trust. Our Skype workouts allow you to log in, and take part in live, video-streamed workouts. So wherever you are, we can be with you, helping you to become fitter and healthier.

hardcandy4. Lifestyle Fitness: Clubs like Hard Candy (from Madonna) are revolutionising the high street gym scene. Aiming to make working out sexy, cool and fun, Hard Candy has become a global luxury fitness brand.  One cardio class uses dance moves from Madonna’s music videos, while “Off the Wall” yoga has participants dangling off the ground on cords. The luxury environment is not for those on a budget, however, members can receive a level of service and quality one would expect Madonna is used to.There are 8 gyms in the portfolio now. There will certainly be more!

frameIn Shoreditch, London, Frame’s ethos is about making fitness fun, hanging out with your mates, and a more laid back approach . All their classes are designed so you can drop by any time and try something new, or get fit by doing something you normally wouldn’t (like Bend it like Barbie or Jane Fonda style aerobics). You can either be a member or just rock up, it’s totally up to you. With your Frame card you can benefit from all their great classes and services, and even get exclusive discounts on their favorite clothing, skincare and health food brands, as well as local bars and restaurants.

We love their flexible pricing policy. Choose from Pay-as-You Go, a pre-pay style Top-Up Card, or All-Inclusive Membership. So you don’t even have to opt for a bank-busting long term membership.

So, now the new year is well and truly here, we think there’s plenty of great ways to get active. Why not try one of these ideas, and see if you can get motivated to keep fit and healthy this year :)

Jump into January

January is already here, and we are all thinking about how to have the best year yet.

It is tough getting back into a health and fitness routine, particularly after the excesses of Christmas, parties and catching up with friends and family. Here are a few positive changes you can apply to your daily routine to help you make a fit and healthy fresh start this year….

Hot Water & Lemon  hotwaterlemonStart with a gentle detox in the morning by adding a cup of warm water with lemon as soon as you wake up. It helps boost the immune system and improves the metabolism.

Swap ‘Bad’ Carbs for Good Carbs  Many people believe that avoiding carbs is the key to achieving successful weight loss, however carbohydrates are important. They provide our bodies with fuel it needs for physical activity and proper organ function. Carbs are broken down in to sugars and released into the blood stream. When they are consumed sugar is rapidly released into the blood stream providing a burst of energy. This sudden sugar rush is too much for the body to make use of so any excess is then turned into fat, leaving you with a sudden drop in blood sugar. This will leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving more sugar. This is why it is important to swap the fast release carbohydrates such as sugar and cakes and white bread/rice/pasta to slow release or complex carbohydrate like whole grain cereals, wholemeal bread/pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. These healthier carbs’ are much more complex in structure than simple sugars and take longer to be digested and absorbed. They provide you with a slow-release source of energy which will help you feel fuller for longer, provide you with consistent energy and help prevent chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Eat healthy  Making the right food choices now and every day this January will get you into a good routine and really will help your body recover from Christmas excesses. Try to reduce the amount of meat you eat, substituting for fish instead, and load up your plate with lots of colourful veg. Why not try a new veg each week. We love to find something seasonal from the supermarket veg isle, then once at home search Google for recipes to help us create new, tasty alternative meals.

Cut Down on Alcohol  There’s not better time than January to cut back. Alcohol is packed with sugar, which can be fattening and ageing (not to mention when hungover, exercise gets pushed even further away). Time to keep alcohol limited to the weekends and even then – drink responsibly.

Get an App  There are so many phone apps available these days, it’s hard not to find something that could work for you. appWhether you want to track your sleep patterns, activity levels, record your food intake, find a workout, there really is something for everyone out there, for every device. Google Play or iTunes is the place to look. Always check the ratings first.

Get a Trainer  This really is one of the best ways to approach exercise. With customised training sessions, you will achieve results much faster when your sessions focus on what your body needs.Throwing yourself into a new workout schedule in the new year after not doing anything for a month (or two!) you will need a bit of guidance on what and how to achieve your fitness goals. This is when having a trainer is essential. A good trainer will always listen to your personal goals, will create workouts based on the best type of exercise for you, will ensure each session is progressive, balanced, tailored and yes, even fun, and if you are really lucky, they will make sure every session offers you something new. The trainer can gives you an estimate of how long it will take your body to achieve the results you want and will also advise you on what to eat. Make it easier on yourself, let someone guide you.

We are offering €10 off an individual training session this January, so get in touch, get active, get healthy!

Medicine Ball

Med Ball CatchThose of you following us, and taking part in our workouts know how we follow simple rules. Keep it functional and keep it fun.

We don’t need to complicate our workouts, which is why we focus on using tried and trusted kit, with a few cheeky tricks on the way.

Today we’re focusing on the Medicine Ball.

Here are 3 interesting facts for you:

1. A Medicine Ball is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of your shoulders

2. They are generally covered in leather or vinyl and are mainly filled with sand to give the weight.

3. They do not contain any medicine!

This piece of kit is usually used for strength and resistance training. There are a whole host of functional moves you can perform with it. Use it as an alternative to dumbbells. Throw it, catch it, lift it, pass it. You could even balance on it. The trick is to select a weight that is enough to slow your usual movement pattern down.

Our favourite part is feeling our core working hard. While you are bending, reaching, rotating and passing the ball through all planes of motion, your core is working extremely hard to keep you stabilised. This helps to build superb abdominal and back strength, which is so important for good postural health.

Why not ask for a Medicine Ball workout at your next session?

The Runners

The runners1We just discovered this great, new short film about people jogging.

The film is 10 minutes long, filmed in Victoria Park, London, and features short interviews with joggers willing to be filmed and interviewed while running.

The film makers, Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley, wanted to find out what goes on in the minds of runners as they pound the streets. What does running mean to them and what can we find out about ourselves by interrupting them at this moment of vulnerability and clarity? So, after a few test runs, using a bike and trailer to carry the cameraman & microphone (due to strict vehicle regulations by London Parks Authorities), they sidled up to joggers and started asking a few simple questions.

TheRunners

“Why are you running today?” “Why are you here?” “What do you want to do with your life?” Each runner sharing their simple, personal stories. Because of sex, dementia, getting slower, hangovers.

The film shows the seasons passing by, revealing to the viewer the time spent creating the work. The runners answers are short and succinct. Well, we all know how challenging running and chatting can be. But perhaps delivered with more clarity as a result?

It is a fascinating watch. Take 10 minutes to watch it. Who knows, it may inspire you to run again. After all, all you have to do is go outside!

Look good the Lexie way

Lexie5Now, here are Urban Fox Fitness, we are always hoping to look the best we can while we are out and about working with all you fitness fans, it’s just a shame that the big sports brands seem to churn out the same old designs with the same old formulas again and again.

Now, we are really excited to share with you Lexie. A brand new sportswear brand that combines design with performance. The brand featured on BBC 3’s TV series, “Be Your Own Boss”, where founder Lily Rice, a graduate of Central Saint Martin’s School of Art, was awarded financial backing from Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks.

Over the last 2 weeks, Lexie has been giving the shoppers of the Kings Road in London a sneaky peek at their fabulous new wares in a pop-up store, and not surprisingly, there has been a fantastic response so far. Taking inspiration from the birth of women’s sportswear during the Art Deco period, Lexie incorporates sharp cuts and flattering angular panelling. Fabrics are functional and really comfortable. A clean colour palette of blacks, greys and marls, with reflective highlights make the designs sophisticated and refreshingly stylish.

Lexie4Lily Rice is the founder and designer for Lexie. She was born in Bristol, UK and grew up in Cornwall. After graduation she was commissioned by the Sri Lankan Design Festival  to create a ten-look collection, working with a leading sportswear manufacturer. When she returned, she became a designer at Umbro, where she worked on kits and training products for teams such as England and Manchester City.

The first collection has received rave reviews from female athletes. Julie Kitchen, the 14 x Ladies World Thai Boxing Champion stated “I was really impressed (with the Lexie collection), all the fabrics are really soft, you can tell they will be comfy to train in….it’s a great collection. My favourite piece is the Gloria Hoodie”.

Lexie1As part of their launch programme, Lexie hooked up with Fitness Playground last night for a session that took in the urban playground around Battersea and Kensington. Fitness Playground is a new London-based fitness concept that explores unexpected and exciting areas of London with challenging, guided exercise led by qualified instructors.

Although the pop-up shop has now closed its doors, we are happy to let you know you can order the collection online at Lexie via http://www.youngbritishdesigners.com.

Go on, spoil yourself. It’ll jump-start your motivation!

The Search for Alternative Sports

IMAG0022  It’s been a long summer, rehabilitating from an injury acquired during the Berlin Brandenburg Half Marathon way back in April.

As a result, I have not been able to work as much, and so, I have been searching for new ways to keep active.

Last friday, I turned my attention to golf. Now, being from England, as well as a mother of 2 boys, my experience of golf is strictly limited to “Crazy Golf”, or the more interesting sounding “Adventure Golf” (trust me, this is no Tough Mudder!). Heading off the to links or pay and play course is an alien concept to me, however, I felt determined and, thanks to a recommendation from a friend, enthusiastically booked myself my first golf lesson at Golf Resort Berlin Pankow.

A close to sunrise start was rewarded with a blissfully peaceful 30 minute cycle north of the city into rolling countryside. When I arrived, a small handful of people were getting themselves ready for an early start on the lush green course. Clubs, trolleys, gloves, golf-buggies, caps, balls – quite an array of specialist kit I noticed.

Reiner, my instructor soon spotted me. I’m the one with nothing but a backpack and a bike helmet of course.  Thankfully he was happy to speak English with me, and promptly lead me to the driving range. Out of sight perhaps?

A 2 euro coin buys you a bucket of 40 balls, and before I knew it I was merrily firing balls in all directions across the driving range. Reiner’s teaching style is very patient, straight forward and kind. My main objective was to slow down and reduce the power. It would appear I have quite a lot of upper body strength compared to most women, so had to really concentrate on not allowing myself to swing my club too hard. In my mind, I was trying to stroke a labrador with a feather. The result was a whacking left swing heading the ball somewhere beyond the 75 meter flag. It seems practice, patience and plenty of time is the order of the day.

IMAG0019 To say I was determined to send a ball directly in front of me, would be an understatement. There is no doubt that I need to practice. This sport will only come good with plenty of it. 90 balls later, with Reiner long gone, I finally decided to head back home.

Taking time out in the fresh air, lapping up views of a well-groomed course and endless countryside beyond, this could become a fond hobby where I can allow myself to clear my head, slow down and relax. This is a great course to learn on. It is a public course, so there are no membership fees. You can hire clubs and balls and away you go.

There are huge benefits to trying a new sport. Whether you are in a training rut, or like me, injured and off your usual training routine. You will exercise new parts of your body, helping you to become fitter and stronger.  Your brain will be challenged, which helps delay the onset of dementia. You will meet new people and you will have something new to talk about.

Golf incorporates cardio vascular exercise (heart and lungs), strength training and of course balance and coordination. That long walk on the course can really ramp up your step count too – just make sure you leave that golf buggy at the clubhouse though!

I would say, however, there are much cheaper sport options than golf, but a Pay and Play course is certainly a good way to try.

You can contact the club directly and arrange a lesson of your own by following the link to Golf Resort Berlin Pankow.